Taylor and Chamber President John Rolfe
Taylor and Chamber President John Rolfe

President and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. spoke at The Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Issue Forum. Tuesday’s forum, hosted at the Drury Hotel, consisted of Taylor addressing the hot button issues in the workplace; topics covered include DEI, a multigenerational workforce, and how employers must prepare for the “War on Talent.” 

“ Accessing financial capital is no longer the problem; it’s the access to human capital that is keeping business leaders up at night,” said Taylor. 

Today, Taylor believes that business leaders must value listening to their employees and become more intentional when addressing employees’ mental  well-being to retain them. 

According to SHRM data, In the United States, there are 10 million jobs currently open and nearly 40% of all current employees are looking for another opportunity. With those statistics in mind, Taylor challenged business leaders in attendance to reimagine their company culture and present new strategies to create a more inclusive workplace and attract new talent. 

Chamber Crowd

“ Right now is the toughest time as a professional; the way you did things five to 10 years ago is gone,” Taylor told the crowd. “The Holy Grail for successful business leaders is diversity and inclusion. Whether you like it or not, your workforce will become increasingly more diverse.”

His 20 plus year professional career shapes Taylor’s experience and insights as a lawyer, human resources professional, and CEO in both the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors.

Under Taylor’s leadership, SHRM has become a global leader in empowering social and economic innovation in the workplace. SHRM has grown to a record 300,000 plus  members in over 165 countries, who impact the lives of more than 110 million workers every day.

Everyone who attended the event received a signed copy of Taylor’s new book, “RESET: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval.” The new book outlines a course for businesses confronted with a new reality, serving as a call to action and in part as a guide for successfully rebuilding and meeting today’s challenges in the workforce. 

In  “RESET”, Taylor expounds, “We have all heard the old adage ‘Never waste a good crisis.’ I would offer a friendly amendment: ‘Make constant reset your friend.’ Upheaval brings about opportunities to rethink, reset, and restructure your organization.”

Johnny Taylor

Taylor is a highly sought-after voice by executives and is routinely called before Congress to speak on crucial workforce issues ranging from sexual harassment to paid leave. He also writes a weekly column, “Ask HR,” for USA Today.

Most recently, Mr. Taylor served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, advocating and representing publicly-supported HBCUs. He currently chairs the President’s Advisory Board on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and sits on the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board of the US Department of Commerce, which advises the National Council for the American Workers on how to ensure that America’s students and workers have access to the affordable and innovative resources they need to succeed in the global economy.

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